Swan Lake

Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Choreographer and Stage Director
Tiit Härm
Eldor Renter
Lighting Designer
Airi Eras
Libretto by V.Begitchev and V.Geltser, redacted by Tiit Härm.
Fragments from choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa are used in the performance.

Swan lake – this is the world of Prince`s imagination, a place easy to flee to from real life in order to seek happiness and love, but it is difficult to find one`s way back to reality.

From where could have the composer drawn his ideas?

Since there are many question marks in the history of the ballet, people have started to look for Tchaikovsky’s source of inspiration and arrived at the fate of an interesting historical figure, Ludwig II, the prince of Bayern. Ludwig, Tchaikovsky’s contemporary, who rose to the throne at the young age was an unusual figure, a great admirer of nature and art. He has written: “The city is disgusting, I feel quite alone there, I am sad and fall into melancholy. I am happy and peaceful only when surrounded by nature, in my beloved mountains.“

It was the mountains where Ludwig built several castles, true miracles of architecture. Swans were Ludwig’s favourite birds, his biographers write that the king could sit for hours by the lake and enjoy them gliding across the water, preferring this engagement to ruling the country. Of course, the nobility of Bayern did not approve Ludwig’s doings, thinking them weird and the king himself being crazy. All those details were well known during Tchaikovsky’s lifetime and there is proof that the composer sympathized with Ludwig’s fate.

Photo Gallery

* In the galleries photos are from productions by Tiit Härm while working at the National Opera "Estonia". Photo: Harri Rospu.
  • Approximate running time 2 h 30 min
  • Presented with one interval
  • Age category: K-12
World premiere: 20 February 1877, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow (choreography by Julius Reisinger)
Premiere in St Petersburg: 15 January 1895, Mariinsky Theatre (choreography by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa)
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera 28 November 2002 (choreography by Tiit Härm)

  • .......... (Prince Siegfried)
  • .......... (Odette)
  • .......... (Оttilie)

  • ..........
    (Prime Minister von Rothbart)

  • ..........
    (Prince's mother, regent princess)
  • .......... (Benno)